AUGUST 18, 2022 ~ 52 WEEKS THROUGH THE NEW TESTAMENT
AUGUST 18 READING…GALATIANS 2
Continuing his autobiographical argument for the true gospel of justification by faith, Paul recounts a trip to Jerusalem with Barnabas and Titus, a Gentile. Many scholars feel that this was the Jerusalem Council meeting that we find in Acts 15 which was called to settle the issue of Gentile salvation. Paul tells of a meeting with Peter, James and John, “men of reputation” in the church and how they were all preaching the same gospel of salvation by grace alone. We find reference to the Judaizers again and their insistence that circumcision was necessary for salvation. Paul, Peter, James and John all agreed that works are not necessary for salvation and that Paul, Barnabas and Titus would take the gospel to the Gentiles while Peter, James and John would go to the Jews.
Paul then provides a very brief account of a rebuke of Peter for eating with the Jews after formerly eating with the Gentiles. And the motivation for Peter was fear of the Judaizers.
The chapter closes with some tremendous doctrinal truths. 3 times in verse 16, Paul emphatically declares that salvation is not by works, but by faith in Christ alone. We see the word justification which essentially means that one is “not guilty” and/or “to make one right”. We often hear it described as “just as if I’d” … never sinned. While this may be a convenient way to remember the general meaning it is grammatically inaccurate since our justification required the death of Christ. A favorite verse of many reminds us of the principle of dying to self, a daily, moment by moment, process. The final verse reiterates that if there were any other way to salvation, if there were any other way to be justified, then Christ’s death was not needed, which in turn would make God the cruelest of gods.
TOMORROW’S READING…GALATIANS 3
Devotional written by Dan Peña